As of this moment, all of the disciples in the audience were staring blankly at the arena floor, their minds spinning, tsunamis of shock battering their hearts.
The south bank audience were thunderstruck. It was only in this moment that they finally realized why it was that Bai Xiaochun had managed to survive his fight with the Luochen Clan, and why he had been named a Prestige disciple!
“He’s actually… so strong!!” That was what all of the shocked disciples were thinking.
As for the north bank audience, their minds were in shambles.
Up on the balcony, the various elders all had bright gleams in their eyes as they mentally replayed the moment in which Bai Xiaochun struck that incredible blow, and the silver light which covered him.
“That’s the Undying Live Forever Technique! He’s reached the silver level!”
“That final blow was… the Throat Crushing Grasp!”
“I can’t believe that someone actually succeeded in cultivating the Undying Live Forever Technique! It’s virtually impossible! It’s an extraordinary technique, but sadly, its origins are a complete mystery, and furthermore, our version is incomplete….”
“I very much look forward to seeing if one of these two end up in the Legacy Echelon years from now!” The sect leader sighed. Such an event would only come after many years had passed. Reaching the Legacy Echelon was a very, very difficult matter. Even the mere thought of it caused him to look over at Li Qinghou. “Reach the Gold Core stage within two sixty-year-cycles, and that puts you in the Legacy Echelon,” he thought. “Our only hope for this generation… is Li Qinghou.”
Back on the arena floor, Ghostfang waved his hand, causing a green light to flow out, which transformed into an enormous greenwood banner, which he stuck into the ground next to him.
Then he sat down cross-legged, his eyes shining with the desire to fight.
“Bai Xiaochun, you are worthy. I will now open my seals!
“First level seal, open!” With that, his right hand flashed with an incantation gesture, and he pushed his finger down onto his forehead. A droning sound could be heard, and he trembled visibly as numerous streams of black light exploded out from inside of him. As they swirled around, he grew slightly larger, and a powerful aura erupted out, an aura which reached well into the Foundation Establishment stage.
“Sixth finger! Seventh! Eighth! Ninth! Tenth!”
Roaring, he waved his finger at Bai Xiaochun five times in a row, each time unleashing greater power than before. Heaven and earth trembled as five gigantic ghost claws began to descend from above, radiating shocking levels of energy.
Gasps could be heard from the audience.
“Is that… still a Qi Condensation magical technique? It looks like something from Foundation Establishment!!”
“This is the first time I’ve seen a Qi Condensation disciple unleash magic as shocking as that!”
“Only some type of secret magic could do such a thing! All secret magics in the Spirit Stream Sect can be used to some extent in the Qi Condensation stage!!”
Bai Xiaochun’s pupils constricted. The pressure he felt from Ghostfang now felt even greater than before, and even beyond what he had faced in his fight with the crown prince of the Luochen Clan.
Of course, this was not a battle to the death. Back in his fight with the Luochen Clan… his life had been on the line!
Although he wasn’t fighting for his life right now, he still didn’t want to lose. If there was no chance for him to take first place, then he wouldn’t even try, but now that first place was in sight… he wanted it!
Not for the supposed reputation it would earn him, but because of the approval he knew he would see in Li Qinghou’s eyes.
That was enough of a reason for him!
Eyes bloodshot, he waved his sleeve and performed an incantation gesture. Spiritual power surged within him, and a violet cauldron appeared. Then a second, a third… until five cauldrons hovered around him!
In the blink of an eye, five violet cauldrons materialized and shot toward the five ghost claws. Simultaneously, the Golden Crow Sword appeared in a streak of golden light, summoning the golden crow, which let out a piercing cry as it shot toward Ghostfang!
At the same time, Bai Xiaochun shot forward, ignoring the ghost claws as he closed in on Ghostfang himself.
A boom rang out as the five violet cauldrons slammed into the five ghost claws. The cauldrons shattered. As for the ghost claws, they faded a bit, but continued to close in on Bai Xiaochun at top speed. Then rumbling could be heard as the Divine Crane Shield appeared, and an enormous crane materialized around Bai Xiaochun.
When the ghost claws slammed into it, cracking sounds could be heard as they faded even more. The crane let out a piercing shriek, vanishing and returning to the shield itself, incapable of providing any further defense.
The five ghost claws proceeded unhindered to slam into Bai Xiaochun. However, just before they touched him, black light spread out and covered him, the result of the life-saving magic given to him by Li Qinghou.
When the ghost claws hit the black light, they couldn’t stand up to its power. Deafening booms rang out as they were destroyed. Bai Xiaochun coughed up a mouthful of blood, and yet, suffered no other injuries. The black light faded, and Bai Xiaochun’s eyes flickered as he closed in on Ghostfang with the Golden Crow Sword. By this point, he was a mere fifteen meters away, and the Golden Crow Sword was only three meters from Ghostfang.
Ghostfang’s face flickered as he grabbed his greenwood banner and leaped backward. The Golden Crow Sword sped past his shoulder, slicing a wound open as it passed. Blood sprayed out, but Ghostfang ignored the pain. Hair disheveled and eyes bloodshot, he waved the banner and said, “Second level seal, open! Ten Ghosts… Haunt the Night!”
Terrifying howling noises rose up from the greenwood banner as two scaled ghost arms ripped the banner open. Out stepped a vicious green ghost with a long horn sticking out of its head and a ferocious grin on its face.
The sky suddenly darkened as sinister black clouds roiled into existence, almost as if night had fallen.
More vicious ghosts emerged from within the banner, a total of ten. Each one was bursting with energy equivalent to the great circle of Qi Condensation. As they began to charge Bai Xiaochun, his face flickered, and his heart began to pound. Even if he were stronger than his current level, there was no way he could fight ten ghosts who had battle prowess equivalent to the great circle of Qi Condensation.
Ghostfang breathed a sigh of relief. He couldn’t keep his second seal open for too long, and knew that all of his hopes for victory rested with these ten ghosts.
He stood there behind them, eying Bai Xiaochun coldly.
The battle between these two had been like a fight between a dragon and a tiger, and provoked cries of alarm and surprise from the audience. Now everyone could see exactly how powerful Ghostfang was, and the north bank audience was in high spirits. As for the south bank disciples, they were starting to get very nervous.
Bai Xiaochun was in full retreat as the ten ghosts spread out to surround him. Their cultivation bases were shocking, so powerful that not even the Golden Crow Sword could defend against them.
“Ten Ghosts Haunt the Night….” Suddenly, he looked up into the sky at the black clouds that made everything seem like night. Eyes flickering thoughtfully, his right hand flashed with an incantation gesture, and the Golden Crow Sword shot up toward the clouds. Apparently, Bai Xiaochun wanted to slash the clouds open so that the arena floor was no longer covered in night.
Ghostfang frowned slightly in response to Bai Xiaochun’s quick reaction. The best time to use this divine ability of his was at night, when it was virtually invincible. During the daytime, it was definitely possible to break it… unless he unleashed the Hundred Ghosts level.
“That cloud cover is beyond ordinary,” Ghostfang thought with a cold smile. “Only spirit enhanced treasures could possibly break it. Even if Bai Xiaochun finds a weakness, he’s definitely not strong enough to pierce it open!”
It was at that point that the Golden Crow Sword pierced into the clouds, and rumbling echoed out. The clouds seemed to weaken, but strangely, sucked in the Golden Crow Sword, making it impossible to use again.
Getting nervous, Bai Xiaochun fell back again and pulled out two spirit enhanced flying swords. After sending them shooting up, they were also sucked into the clouds, although the clouds weakened further in the process.
Ghostfang’s jaw dropped. “Spirit enhanced treasures…?”
Next, before Ghostfang could even react, Bai Xiaochun suddenly produced eight more flying swords, all of which glittered with silver light as they shot up into the sky. Each and every one had a twofold spirit enhancement, and when they pierced into the cloud cover, it was weakened so much that rays of sunlight began to shine down, which caused the ten ghosts to shriek and dodge to the side.
Ghostfang’s eyes went wide, and despite his level of willpower, couldn’t help but let out a cry of shock. “S-so… so many!! Dammit, he can’t have more than that, can he?!”
He wasn’t the only person to react in such a way. The Outer Sect disciples from both the south and north banks all looked on with disbelieving eyes, and began to shout aloud.
“Heavens! How many spirit enhanced items does Bai Xiaochun have?!”
“Most disciples have trouble getting their hands on a single one. But he… has so many? Who enhanced them for him!?”
As people shouted out in surprise, Big Fatty Zhang was there in the crowd. However, he was more toward the back, and although he had been cheering for Bai Xiaochun, nobody had really paid any attention to him.
Now that he saw Bai Xiaochun using all of the flying swords, he lifted his chin loftily and said, “All of them were enhanced by me, Big Fatty Zhang!”
Even as Ghostfang tried to convince himself that Bai Xiaochun couldn’t possibly have any more spirit enhanced items, Bai Xiaochun was delighted to discover that his swords were actually affecting the cloud cover. Immediately, he began to laugh out loud, and then produced two more flying swords. Silver light flashed as the spirit enhanced swords shot toward the clouds.
“Impossible!!” Ghostfang shouted in shock.
Rumbling sounds emanated from the clouds, which could not stand up to so many attacks by spirit enhanced swords. As sunlight spilled down, the ten ghosts screamed shrilly as they retreated back into the banner.
As that happened, Bai Xiaochun laughed heartily and began to close in on Ghostfang, building up power to unleash the Throat Crushing Grasp again.
An extremely unsightly expression appeared on Ghostfang’s face. Just as he was about to fight back, blood sprayed out of his mouth, and he trembled. The side-effects of opening his second seal were now beginning to affect him. An unyielding expression on his face, he began to fall back as fast as possible.
“I concede!” he said through gritted teeth. He knew that in his current state, he wasn’t a match for Bai Xiaochun. Even still, he refused to acknowledge that he had truly been defeated. If Bai Xiaochun hadn’t possessed so many spirit enhanced treasures, he would never have been able to defeat Ghosts Haunt the Night.
Furthermore, if they had actually been fighting at night, he would have been defeated even more handily.
In the moment that Ghostfang conceded, the shocked disciples of the south bank immediately broke out into excited cheering.
“We won! The south bank won!!”
“Hahaha! We took first place! We got two people into the top three!!”
“We’ve gotten our revenge! Sect Uncle Bai is invincible!!” The south bank disciples were cheering up a storm, while the north bank disciples looked on bitterly. They could all see that the problem wasn’t Ghostfang being weak, it was Bai Xiaochun… having too many treasures.
“How come you have so many spirit enhanced treasures, Bai Xiaochun!?” Ghostfang asked, wanting to know why he had been defeated in such a way.
“My Elder Brother Big Fatty Zhang is a spirit enhancement genius,” Bai Xiaochun responded proudly. “The kind you only see once in a thousand… no, once in ten thousand years! All of those treasures I used were gifts from him. If you want to assign blame, blame the fact that my Elder Brother is a genius of spirit enhancement.” The south bank disciples cried out in shock, with the commotion being especially loud among the Violet Cauldron Peak disciples.
“Big Fatty Zhang? Who is this god-like individual?”
“Big Fatty Zhang. He’s… he’s a Violet Cauldron Peak disciple!”
“He’s the apprentice of the peak lord…. Heavens, he usually keeps such a low profile. Who could ever have guessed that he was so incredible!?!?”
Excited, Big Fatty Zhang threw his head back and roared at the top of his lungs, “I am Big Fatty Zhang!! All of the flying swords used by Bai Xiaochun were enhanced by me!!”
Big Fatty Zhang’s excited words echoed out for everyone to hear. Even the sect leader and the others on the balcony turned to look at him curiously.
As pandemonium continued to grip the crowd, Bai Xiaochun stood there blinking. Finally, he lifted his chin and waved his sleeve, looking like the ultimate hero. Turning slowly, he walked off of the arena floor.
“Ai. Life is a lonely thing. With the snap of a finger, I reduced all the Chosen to ashes ….”